Residents have been on lockdown as armed police tried to tackle the rioters who have caused millions of pounds of damage. Police were hit with molotov cocktails and the heavy metal balls used in the French game Petanque. And after setting cars and even a disability vehicle on fire the police have been forced to fire live rounds of bullets.
Dozens of young people have occupied an empty lot in Bobigny in the prefecture of Seine-Saint-Denis department. Some of the protesters have been carrying banners saying “Justice for Theo,” the name of the young man who was sexually assaulted by a police officer with a truncheon.
Hundreds of people gathered in Bobigny not far from the courthouse earlier today to protest police violence, Le Parisien reported. The demonstration began peacefully, but turned violent at around 3pm local time.
A reporter for the French TV company BMTV was also injured after being attacked. The areas of Aulnay-Sous-Bois, Aulnay, Argenteuil, Bobigny and Tremblay-en-France in the Saint-Seine-Denis district have all been affected. It follows allegations of horrific police brutality in a housing estate called Rose des Vents in Aulnay-Sous-Bois which is also known locally as the 'city of 3000'.
Local residents and police forces have called the continued unrest "disgraceful" while the man allegedly assaulted by police named only as Theo has pleaded for calm. Yves Lefebvre head of the police union said: "Setting a wheelchair van on fire is a disgrace. This has to stop."
The French Government's response to the latest outbreaks of violence is to put 2,600 cameras on police officers to record them out on the job. Front National (FN) MP Marion Le Pen tweeted the amateur video which shows chaotic scenes including of clouds of smoke after cars were set on fire and a man yelling “Allahu Akbar”, Arabic for God is Greatest, three times.
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